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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Thursday, 3 November 2005

school, telly and technology (woo!)

Another eventful week - for a start, Christopher started school; he seems to have taken to it with a reassuring enthusiasm, and has returned home with stories of King James and Guy Fawkes; there's actually been some decent TV on, and I've attended rather an informative session at work about the Digital Communication Revolution.

Back to Monday, when Christopher started his first week at school - it was an upheaval for us all, from getting up that bit earlier (well, on my days off anyway!) to tramping the 25 minutes to the school and back twice a day. But it's definitely been worth it, since Christopher has come home with tales of generally positive experiences. It's really weird (even moreso for Beth), moving so radically from the symbiotic life that we shared while home-educating to Christopher becoming much more self-reliant.

Every time he leaves us in the morning - if it is I who am dropping him off - I try and leave him with an encouraging thought (such as "nobody is better than you - and if they say they are, you have every right to reply 'meh...'") but for the rest of the day, I can't help but concern myself with thoughts of how he's getting on. We'll all become accustomed to it, I'm sure.

If you've not seen Broken News on BBC2 at 9.30 on Monday evening, and you liked The Day Today, you're missing out on a real gem. Much like Chris Morris and Armando Ianucci's work of genius (yeah, I do go on about them a bit!) I'll come into work the next day and not be able to take the Breakfast News programme seriously. Well worth watching.

Oh, and Never Mind The Buzzcocks is back, just before it, and as entertaining and disrespectful as it always was.

Finally, I attended a 'panel discussion' session at work today - this is something that the company's really good at, if one can set aside the time to attend them. This particular one was called "The Digital Communication Revolution" and featured three experts in the 'New Media' world of Blogs, Podcasts and (I'd never heard this phrase before) folksonomies - which is basically 'tagging' (just shows, even a geek like me can't keep up with the jargon!): Euan Semple (the Knowledge Manager for the BBC), Neil McIntosh (the deputy editor of the very popular Guardian Unlimited) and a business communications specialist, Neville Hobson.

radio bits
I stumbled across a gem of radio comedy last night - it's called Mastering The Universe (Radio 4, 11pm on Wednesdays), and it's a very incisive lecture (again, a feature of modern radio comedy) about how to get ahead through passive aggression. Dawn French does a fine job of pretending to be cantankerous.

Genius has finally made it onto Radio 4, too - I wasn't convinced about the first show (not least because Paul Daniels annoys me a little) but tonight's (Thursdays, 6.30pm on Radio 4) with Richard Madeley definitely had me giggling shamelessly.

On more technical matters, Pure Digital have launched their first personal DAB Radio/MP3 player/recorder ... they're getting closer to audio Nirvana! (hmm.. all I desire is a CompactFlash card with a DAB receiver in it to go in my nice new iPaq and I'm made!)

From ukradio.com's news:
Prompted by the Mont Blanc disaster a few years ago, a recent EU mandate requires that long tunnels (over 500 metres) must have an emergency broadcast system that will automatically change the in-car entertainment system to the emergency channel. There are over 2000 tunnels in Europe that will require such a system.
The first tunnel to have TunnelAlert installed will be the Rotherhithe Tunnel in the UK, which is expected to go live early in the New Year.

I would never have thought of that. Perhaps the EU is useful for something...

random thought
Pint glasses - they always used to be straightforward - a tall'n'thin one for lager, and squat with a handle (and little squarey bits) for ale. I was having a pint or two with Jon over the weekend when I noticed that every brand (and even each variety, such as the 'extra cold' ranges that seems to have doubled the quantity of little tap things behind the bar, even though they come from the same barrel as the 'normal' lager) seems to have its own special glass. I really don't understand... it's hardly an advert, is it? I mean, you're drinking the stuff already. Any ideas why this is?

Enough from me - there's a weekend off imminent, including a party (woo!)

Links of the day:

  • www.belt.demon.co.uk - Want to make your stereo sound better? This website (although a little untidy) certainly gives some novel suggestions. How about a CCU Ring Tie tied onto soft furnishing to make music more enjoyable?
  • www.coorslight.com/iceswipe : A tricky but entertaining drawing game - OK, so I've regularly shown my poor mouse control skills up at i-sketch! (Thanks, Cath!)

Posted by james at November 3, 2005 9:43 PM

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